National Raisin Reserve

My how time does fly.

It was nearly three years ago that we kidded the Canadians about their Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve. Because, seriously, what’s going to happen? Dr. Evil absconds with all the maple syrup and holds it for a million billion dollar ransom?

Well as silly as we found that, imagine our disbelief when we discovered that our very own exceptional U.S. Government has a National Raisin Reserve. Not only that…but it flat-out steals raisins from the farmers, does not offer recompense – in kind or otherwise.

This is the stuff revolutions are made of.

There are raisins stored in California warehouses as part of the U.S. government’s National Raisin Reserve — but the program may shrivel in the face of a Supreme Court challenge.

The National Raisin Reserve — which is overseen by the Fresno-based Raisin Administrative Committee — is part of post-World War II-era program that forces raisin producers to give part of their annual crop to the government to prevent an oversupply of the dried fruit. Controversially, the program seizes the raisins from the farmers without paying them, and that has created friction, lawbreaking farmers, and a Supreme Court case. One scofflaw farmer, Marvin Horne, has refused to surrender his raisins to the government and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and over 1 million pounds of the sweet dried fruit to Uncle Sam.

The controversial raising-seizing program could soon be, however, a relic of history.

Several Supreme Court justices expressed doubts Wednesday that federal officials can legally take raisins away from farmers without full payment even if the goal is to help boost overall market prices.

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